From time to time, we are introduced to the panacea for all our ills, the system to end all systems, or some other preposterous tripe. Someone, a company, an organization, comes up with an IT system, some Artificial Intelligence goobledygook, and claims that humans are no longer needed. Yes, we’ve heard them all before, we hear them now, and we will continue to hear them. Now, lest you misconstrue my meaning, lest you aren’t able to get my drift, I am not against automation at all. In fact, I’m all for sensible automation. After all, it increases value by increasing efficiency, so why not? No, I am not against automation. I am just totally and utterly against turning humans into automatons.
You know what I mean, of course. People grumble about the drudgery inherent in a lot of their work. They murmur about being able to do things more efficiently and then jump for joy when systems designed for improving efficiency are implemented at their workplace. The next thing they know, they’ve been laid off because they’ve been rendered redundant. Automation shouldn’t led to people losing their jobs. Automation should lead people out of low-value jobs and on to higher-value ones. Unfortunately, I see very little of this happening because most of the time, people simply do not have the mindset for self-improvement, for increasing their own worth, and so automation often comes at a price they are not prepared to pay.
We need to be very conscious about how we implement automation. The only way we can do that is if we deliberately enforce, encourage and nurture a culture where people constantly improve and constantly think of ways they can contribute to the growth of others. Automation needs to be conscious so that business operations can become unconscious. Business operations need to become unconscious so that people can focus on what really matters. And what really matters is the quality, extent and depth of interpersonal relationships not only at the workplace, but in all spheres of human intercourse.
Are you ready for your business to go unconscious?